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Naperville Dentist Highlights the Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings

By April 24, 2024Blog

For Naperville Dental Specialists, oral care for patients goes beyond dental treatments. That’s why they offer throat cancer screening with the high-tech VELscope® diagnostic tool, which allows them to spot possible oropharyngeal cancers that aren’t visible by the eye alone.

The American Cancer Society’s most recent 2024 estimates for oral cavity and oropharyngeal (throat, base of the tongue, and tonsils) cancers in the US include about 58,450 new cases this year. They also calculate that the risk of developing these types of cancers is 1 in 69 for men and 1 in 139 for women. This data reflects a trend of oral cancers increasing about 1% yearly since the mid-2000s.

In light of these statistics—and that April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month—Dr. Anthony LaVacca and the award-winning team at Naperville Dental Specialists encourage everyone to schedule an oral cancer screening appointment. According to Texas Oncology, throat cancers are more likely to respond successfully with surgery alone or combined with radiation therapy when caught early, particularly in Stages I and II.

Who Should Have Regular Oral Cancer Screenings?

Those who smoke, consume alcohol excessively, have a history of cancer, or have HPV are more at risk and should include oral cancer screenings as part of their regular overall health reviews. Regular screenings can help detect oral cancers early.

The Link Between Oropharyngeal Cancers and HPV

Dr. LaVacca also wants to highlight the connection between oropharyngeal cancers and Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Research indicates that 70% of oropharyngeal cancers are caused by HPV 16. However, this can be prevented by getting the HPV vaccine before it is contracted. Oral cancer screenings are critical in oropharyngeal cancer cases linked to HPV since these types are known to develop without exhibiting any early-stage symptoms.

What Does An Oral Cancer Screening Involve At Naperville Dental Specialists?

Oral cancer screening at Naperville Dental Specialists’ state-of-the-art dental office includes a mouth and throat physical exam, and the utilization of innovative VELscope® technology. This diagnostic tool helps reveal abnormal tissue in the throat that might not be visible to the naked eye in a physical exam. The VELscope emits specific wavelengths of blue spectrum light to stimulate natural tissue fluorescence; abnormal tissue lights up differently than healthy tissue when viewed through the VELscope.

Ask Your Naperville Dentist About An Oral Cancer Screening

Your award-winning Naperville dental team wants to help you stay on top of your oral health. Contact us to schedule your next dental check up and cleaning and ask us about including a VELscope oral cancer screening at your visit.

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